By John Drakakis & Naomi Liebler
April 1998
Pearson Education / Longman
ISBN: 0582209978
376 pages
$57.50 Hardcover

This wide-ranging and unique collection of documents on one of the most enduring of literary genres, Tragedy, offers a radical revaluation of its significance in the light of the critical attention that it has received during the past one-hundred and fifty years. The foundations of much contemporary thinking about Tragedy are to be found in the writings of Hegel, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard; in addition, the dialectical tradition emanating from Marxism, and the psycho-analytical writings of Freud, have extended significantly the horizons of the subject.

With the explosion of interest in the areas of post-structuralism, sociology of culture, social anthropology, feminism, deconstruction, and the study of ritual, new questions are being asked about this persistent artistic exploration of human experience. This book seeks to represent a full selection of these divergent interests, in a series of substantial extracts which display the continuing richness of the debate about a genre which has provoked, and challenged categorical discussion since the appearance of Aristotle's Poetics.

General Editor's Preface

1. Introduction

2. The Philosophy of Tragedy
G.W.F. Hegel, Tragedy as a dramatic art
A. C. Bradley, Hegel's Theory of Tragedy
Friedrich Nietzsche from The Birth of Tragedy
Soren Kierkegaard, The Tragic in Ancient Drama
Georg Lukacs, The Metaphysics of Tragedy

3. Historical Materialism and Tragedy
Lucien Goldman, The Tragic Vision: Man; World Visions and Social Classes
Bertold Breght from A Short Organum for the Theatre
George Thomson, Tragedy
Walter Benjamin, Trauerspiel and Tragedy
Alain Robbe-Grillet, Nature, Humanism and Tragedy
Augusto Boal, Aristotle's Coercive System of Tragedy

4. Tradition and Innovation
Arthur Miller, Tragedy and the Common Man
Arthur Miller, The Nature of Tragedy
George Steiner from The Death of Tragedy
Raymond Williams from Modern Tragedy

5. Psychoanalysis and Tragedy
Sigmund Freud from Character and Culture
Jacques Lacan, The Splendor of Antigone
Andre Greend, The Psychoanalytic Reading of Tragedy

6. Feminism and Tragedy
Elisabeth Bronten from Omphalos to Phallus: Cultural Representations of Femininity and Death
Sarah B. Pomeroy, Images of Women in the Literature of Classical Athens
Nicole Loraux, The Rope and the Sword

7. Ritual and Tragedy
Jan Kott, The Eating of the Gods, or the Bacchae
Rene Girard, The Sacrificial Crisis
Wole Soyinka, Morality and Aesthetics and the Ritual of Archetype
Northrop Frye, The Mythos of Autumn: Tragedy
Susanne K. Langer, The Great Dramatic Forms: The Tragic Rhythm

8. Deconstruction and Tragedy
Jacques Derrida, Plato's Pharmacy


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